Aunt paroled in 1983 murder of niece, 5, in NY

Apr 16, 2009 Full story: The Associated Press 9

A woman who suffocated her 5-year-old niece with a plastic bag on Long Island more than a quarter-century ago has been paroled, over her family's protest.

State parole officials say Kathleen Mary Conway left a Manhattan prison Thursday and went to an unidentified housing facility somewhere in Suffolk County.

Conway was 26, unemployed and living in her older sister's spare bedroom when she killed Sherrie Johnston in the girl's Lake Ronkonkoma home in June 1983.

Conway told investigators she killed the child out of anger at the family. She pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

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Truthseeker

Budd Lake, NJ

#1 May 20, 2009
I personally know Kathy and let me tell you there are two sides to every story. Her family knows darn well what drove her to commit such a bizarre crime. They are an extremely dysfunctional family in denial of the hienous sexual abuse inflicted on this poor woman. I consider it an honor to be Kathy's friend and I'm glad she has been granted the taste of freedom the the state of NY says she deserves. No one wants to tell the truth so I am in your face with it. Deal with it.
edith

Baltimore, MD

#2 Jul 14, 2009
I just found out (July, 2009 -) that Kathy has been paroled, and am so happy Kathy is now free. I have known Kathy since 1977. She is really an amazing lady with many gifts. There ARE two sides to every story. The account above is the first time I heard her side (I have been out of the country most of the past 17 years and had lost most contact.)
Right

Edison, NJ

#3 Feb 12, 2011
Truthseeker wrote:
I personally know Kathy and let me tell you there are two sides to every story. Her family knows darn well what drove her to commit such a bizarre crime. They are an extremely dysfunctional family in denial of the hienous sexual abuse inflicted on this poor woman. I consider it an honor to be Kathy's friend and I'm glad she has been granted the taste of freedom the the state of NY says she deserves. No one wants to tell the truth so I am in your face with it. Deal with it.
So Sherrie, a 5 year old child, was rightfully murdered because this "poor woman" couldn't deal with her own problems? Regardless of what was done to her, was it right what she did to Sherrie? What about her side of the story?

“pffft”

Since: Jan 11

blue point.

#4 Feb 13, 2011
Mastic mastic beach and Shirley.
Truthseeker

Bayport, NY

#5 Feb 13, 2011
There is no justification in taking Sherrie's life. That's why the punishment was meted out in the form of 20 years incarceration. The law says that's enough for Kathy and so that's it. Period. What's left is the present and everyone trying to live their lives. If you are a family member have you spoken to her? If not, why not? The present is all we have. Yesterday is gone. If anger and bitterness is taking it's toll on your life then it's time to try something new. The new thing is called forgiveness. Think you'll be letting her off the hook by forgiving? Doesn't work that way. What you will find is for the first time you will begin to heal.
Baltimore

Baltimore, MD

#6 Feb 13, 2011
Right wrote:
<quoted text>
So Sherrie, a 5 year old child, was rightfully murdered because this "poor woman" couldn't deal with her own problems? Regardless of what was done to her, was it right what she did to Sherrie? What about her side of the story?
No, what was done to Sherie was NOT right. Thank you....you are right. I am wrong. I stand corrected. I was letting sentimentality towards a long standing friendship get in the way of right thinking with God. In another country Kathy would have been executed..... It took Kathy over 20 years (shortly before she was released) to finally admit RESPONSIBILITY ... which I guess is different from admitting guilt.(Kathy HAD admitted doing it....but said it was because of being abused.) Thank you for correcting me. I have not heard from Kathy since she was in Bayview.
A family member

Amherst, NH

#7 Sep 6, 2011
I am DISGUSTED at these responses. Sherrie was a defenseless 5-year-old. I don't care what she was subjected to, there is NO excuse in the world to murder a baby. I've grown up without Sherrie in my life and living in constant fear that Kathy would come for me too. The nightmares consumed me. She should have been executed and made to suffer the way Sherrie did. I hope she rots in HELL, where she belongs.
Baltimore

Baltimore, MD

#8 Sep 7, 2011
A family member wrote:
I am DISGUSTED at these responses. Sherrie was a defenseless 5-year-old. I don't care what she was subjected to, there is NO excuse in the world to murder a baby. I've grown up without Sherrie in my life and living in constant fear that Kathy would come for me too. The nightmares consumed me. She should have been executed and made to suffer the way Sherrie did. I hope she rots in HELL, where she belongs.
Family member--you are right--I am so very, very wrong. I grieve for you and your family and what you went through and are going through-- Sherrie would be 33 years old now-- I often wonder what she would be doing had she lived.
Broken Hearted

Medford, NY

#9 May 19, 2012
This is for truthseeker
You suggest talking to her? The person that last saw her alive, the person who deliberately suffocated a beautiful innocent girl? What the hell would I want to say....that's ok...you did what you had to do to make some sense out of your own life. You talk about healing....what do you know of healing the pain of a murdered child by your own sister.
Get off your soap box, comment only on the facts not what she wants the world to believe.

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